FOXBOROUGH, MA – There is always a level of respect that the head coach of one team gives to another ahead of a match-up in the National Football League.

Bill Belichick took that to another level on Wednesday afternoon during his news conference at Patriots headquarters in Foxborough. The legendary New England coach took quite a bit of time to compliment the Bears, a 2-4 team, ahead of their match-up at Gillette Stadium this Sunday night.

So how long was it?

If you go by the news conference video on YouTube, it began at 57 seconds and didn’t finish until the counter said 8:25 seconds.

That’s seven minutes and 28 seconds of Belichick talking about the Bears, who’ve lost three-straight games in their first season under a new head coach, general manager, and a roster that’s been overhauled in 2022.

If you want to read the transcription of the quote posted on the team’s website, it’s 1,042 words.

So what does Belichick have to say about the Bears that warranted such a long opening statement? Well, there’s a lot.

“This is a pretty impressive group and really a young team that you can see getting better all the time. Coach (Matt Eberflus) has done a really good job here with installing his system and I think adapting to the personnel that they have there,” said Belichick to open his talk on the Bears. “Obviously, getting a lot of young players involved. It’s one of the youngest teams in the league.”

Belichick would praise a number of players by name during the lengthy statement, including quarterback Justin Fields, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, along with running backs Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery. Bears kicker Cairo Santos and punter Trenton Gill also got a few shoutouts from the Patriots’ head coach as well.

Eventually, the talk turned to the defense, with Eddie Jackson, Roquan Smith, Robert Quinn, Nicholas Morrow, and Kyler Gordon among those he talked about.individually. Belichick pointed out the Bears’ ability to hold opponents down offensively in the second half.

“Coach Eberflus has really done a good job. I mean, in the second half, they’re the best defensive team in the second half of games in the league,” said Belichick. “Haven’t given up much of anything here in six games. I think they’re under seven points a game in the second half, or something like that.

“You watch them play in the second half and seems like as they gain confidence, figure out what the offense is doing, make some adjustments, they’ve been able to really shut almost everybody down.”

Belichick is 6-1 against the Bears in his head coaching career, having beaten them in 1992 as head coach of the Browns then with the Patriots in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018. The Bears only victory against him came in 2000 at Soldier Field, which was Belichick’s first season in New England.